CANBERRA, Aug 7: Following the introduction of stage four restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and stage three restrictions across regional Victoria, the Morrison Government will help more businesses qualify for JobKeeper.
Key adjustments include:
- A change to the employee reference date – from 3 August 2020 the relevant date of employment for an eligible employee will move from 1 March to 1 July 2020, expanding employee eligibility.
- A change to the turnover reference period – to be eligible for JobKeeper post 28 September 2020, organisations will only have to demonstrate that their actual turnovers have significantly declined in the previous quarter.
As a result, organisations that are able to demonstrate a significant decline in turnover in the September 2020 quarter will be able to access the JobKeeper extension in the December quarter. An organisation able to demonstrate the requisite decline in turnover in the December 2020 quarter would be able to access the JobKeeper extension in the March 2021 quarter.
The combined effect of the economic deterioration in Victoria which will see more firms needing to rely on JobKeeper and the eligibility changes being made to the program will see the cost of JobKeeper increase by around $15.6 billion in 2020-21.
While these changes will apply nation-wide, it is expected that more than 80 per cent of the increased payments will flow to Victorian businesses and employees.
These changes combined with a deterioration in the economy as a result of the stricter restrictions imposed in Victoria will see the total cost of the JobKeeper program increase to $101.3 billion.
It is now expected that around 4 million Australians will be benefiting from JobKeeper Payments at the end of the September quarter, falling to around 2.24 million in the December quarter and 1.75 million in the March 2021 quarter.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Government was doing whatever it took to save lives and save livelihoods.
“Australia is facing a situation that is constantly changing. Our response is to get the right support to all those Australian families, workers and businesses that need us, as these circumstances change,” the Prime Minister said.
“This means more support for more workers and more businesses for longer, as we battle this latest Victorian wave.”
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the introduction of stage four restrictions by the Victorian Government will have a severe economic impact on the Victorian and Australian economy.
“Already more than 270,000 businesses covering around 975,000 employees in Victoria are being supported by the Morrison Government’s JobKeeper Payment.”
“To help keep more businesses in business and Australians in jobs through this incredibly challenging period, the Government will ease the eligibility criteria to make it easier for organisations to qualify for the JobKeeper extension from 28 September 2020.”
“These changes will add to the $15 billion the Morrison Government has already contributed to the Victorian economy through JobKeeper and small business CashFlow boost payments.”
Every arm of government is working to keep Australians in jobs and businesses in business.
The Morrison Government will continue to do what it takes to cushion the blow and help Australians get to the other side of the coronavirus crisis.
(From The Office of Prime Minister Scott Morrison)